clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Zen out this weekend while watching a craftsman turn a tree into a dugout canoe

New, 5 comments

Low tech

If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Sometimes, older forms of technology are just as fascinating as the latest gadget. A Latvian woodworker named Rihards Vidzickis recently posted a mesmerizing video of a recent project: creating a dugout canoe from a single tree trunk.

Vidzickis is a master woodworker who specializes in green wood (recently cut, as opposed to dried). The accompanying description explains that he earned his doctorate in engineering materials science, and knows the wood down to a scientific level. In the video, he begins with a rough log, and we follow the project as he carves off the bark and hacks the wood out of the center using a variety of specialized, traditional tools. One of the most interesting parts is when they use hundreds of little dowels to figure out how much to carve out of the middle: they drill holes and push them through, using the dyed end to see when they’ve cut out the right amount.

The entire documentary runs just under 20 minutes, and from beginning to end, the entire process of turning a log into a usable, beautiful boat is awe-inspiring.